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>> this week on "to the contrary" first, as we await the we'll hear from department of labor secretary hilda solis about the outlook for women. then, newborn survival in the united states may not be as good as you think. and, we discuss a controversial t-shirt making waves on the internet. >> hello, i'm avis jones-deweever sitting in for bonnie erbe. welcome to "to the contrary," a discussion of news and social trends from diverse perspectives. up first, secretary of labor hilda solis' dedication to women and jobs. in today's challenging economy,
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women are facing unemployment and a stagnate job market. they're hoping for some good news next week when the president reveals his jobs plan in a national address. secretary solis told "to the contrary" executive producer cari stein the department of labor is working hard to help women succeed in the workforce. >> we see a lot of women who are losing jobs right now in the public sector. and that seems to be the area that we haven't been able to really be able to boost and keep those jobs and part of it is because revenues are down at the state and local government. so we have an over-representation of women in teaching jobs and in the public sector. >> secretary solis says there is also one female population that sometimes gets overlooked but the department of labor is focusing resources on women veterans. >> there is a large percentage of the women that have served in the last two wars, and they're going to be coming home and
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they're coming home now, and so we're trying to foster a better environment for them so that they do have places to go for assistance if they need it, training that they're going to need, and also bringing about better partnerships with businesses so that they will hire them and also give them a chance at some of these jobs. >> with african americans and hispanic women having the highest unemployment rate, what do you suppose the reasons for that are? >> i think some of it has to go back to the premise that not all of them have access to education. so they may not have the appropriate skill sets or training available. many of these particular groups also, have been heavily concentrated in the public sector. >> solis says unemployment insurance is an important program for many of these women. >> we have attempted through ui modernization to help provide protections for them. this is way of high pressuring provide an expansive safety net for them.
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that has to be reauthorize and extended especially now in this very hard economic time where we're going to see at the end of the year people are go to be dropped off again unless we provide an extension through the federal unemployment insurance program. >> extending unemployment insurance is only one of the programs solis is backing to help women move to new opportunities. >> we have to look at where we can help them transition. one area that i recommend they look at is in health-care. there are all kinds of jobs that continue to grow, whether it's on the front end, ambulatory care, emergency care, assisted living. i am really excited about some of the things we've been able to do to help provide more support for women, to look at alternative careers, because some of the jobs that women lost won't come back. and we'd like to see many of them getting into renewable energy, in green jobs, or in apprenticeship programs that pay higher wages. why can't we continue to push more women into those areas, into high-tech, the stem areas with the science, technology,
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engineering, and math areas? we still have a shortage of women engineers. >> have you been to any interesting training programs recently? >> i'm really excited. not too long ago i was out visiting and auto plant where they're producing electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles. and many of the workforce, half of them i would say, were women. and they were there explaining to me everything that they were doing, and how exciting it was that they had a good job. >> so what do you do for outreach? how do you actually get out into the community and help these women think about other options? >> part of it is by letting them know that there are tools available. they can go to our one-stop centers that we have, we have 3,000 of them. they can go online immediately if they have a computer at home, or they can go to a public library and get all this information, or just go to our website
11:36 am and download and look at all the information that we have available for them. we have many grant programs that address certain issues for women. >> more outreach to companies? >> absolutely. always, always. because government doesn't create the jobs, it's a private sector. so we need to branch out, work with medium, small size and all the diverse businesses that are out there. they are the engine of growth. we want to inspire individuals to get involved in our job training programs. to take advantage of what is being offered right now. putting out grants with community colleges and businesses to attract better training programs with credentials so we can guarantee a good work force. but we want all americans, and individuals that have been out of work for so long, to not lose hope and faith. that is what i am looking forward to, for the next cycle. but immediately it's about jobs, jobs, jobs.
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>> delegate eleanor holmes norton what do women get back to work? >> for starters targeting the long term unemployed and jobs bill america is insisting congress passes after recess would be a good start. >> i don't think it's what the u.s. needs to do. i think it's what women need to do to get themselves the right skills and they can get back to work. >> i think we have to be very careful about what the fiscal policy that we're seeing coming out of washington especially through the republican party because women are being hurt through public sector jobs that are being cut. and so it's counter productive to say, we care about women having jobs and yet we're slashing jobs that women do >> the get the government out of the way. ale now individuals and businesses to keep more money in their own pockets and let's cut some of e red tape so that we can have small businesses start to create jobs that will be around for the long term.
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>> where were you when the tax cut bill got passed and you haven't seen -- the tax cut bill cut taxes to everybody, to the middle class especially for the wealthy if that would do it. >> they're temporary cuts. we would need real serious long term programs -- >> cuts for the wealthy. >> but when you look at businesses have, they are sitting on nearly $2 trillion cash right now and they're not hiring people. don't we need to look beyond the private sector particularly as we said here that women are disproportionately located in public sector jobs? doesn't the government have some responsibility then to get people back to work? the size and scope of government, have jobs in the private sector the federal government if doing a lot of things that the private sector sector could be more efficiently and cheaply. >> why aren't they doing it if they have the money -- >> because the government is in the space. and businesses are sitting on money because they don't know what additional regulations -- what will the actual
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implications of that look like. no one knows what the -- >> she made the best argument for some government spending if you care anything about women, if they're sitting on it, if nobody else is helping them, if unemployment is stuck then the only engine that typically in a democratic society steps up to the plate is indeed the government. we have tried all the tax cuts in the world, we have shown that that alone won't do it. so if you really compare about the unemployed you'll stop talking about the tlk points from the republican party. we heard that ever since they took power. and what we have now is a jobs crisis for women. we've got to target women, we've got every ecoomist all of the -- any economist and interesting way is 'bipartisan way that this is coming in, the fed says you've got to spend
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money in the near term for economic growth. those talking points died. >>et's not overlook, i serve on the board of manpower which is a temporary permanent staffing global corporation, they placed over four million workers a year. their big issue is -- they coined a phrase, talentism is relating capitalism because they don't have individuals with the right skills and talent to fill the kind of jobs that we need. we need to do a tremendous educational effort, an outreach effort to let the workers know where the opportunities lie. i think there's a certain responsibility that we need to have to make sure that they -- health care is a huge market right now. >> we need to get people trained in those areas. >> i think that's very true but i want to come back to what eleanor said and what i said in the beginning. it's inconsistent to be doing nothing but slashing a budget,
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not increasing your revenue is coming in, keeping the tax credit for the wealthy as perm napt. i was talking to someone yesterday who is with the rural letters carriers association, he was telling me in the state of wyoming alone, there are proposals that will come to cop tall hill in front of the senate for slashing just wyoming, 100 post offices. now think of the economic impact on a state like wyoming of a hupped post offices, workers, government sector jobs which women typically are in, we have to retrain but let the private sector come in. these have like domino economic affects. throughout our entire society. >> no doubt about that. isn't training itself an investment? i'm wondering where is that money going to come from, if every turn that we take we're saying we can't afford to spend a dime. yes, we do need to retrain and make sure the public sector i believe is vibrant but all that takes investment. where is it coming from?
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>> this is the thing. if the postal service is losing $6 billion a year, i mean we need to then redirect the focus to the growth sectors of our economy. the whole environmental, there are lot of health care, information technology, we captain just keep superficially maintaining jobs that are obsolete. >> you have a good point about retraining. we know that women are crowded in the women-owned occupations. women have done a spectacular job of training themselves, much more broadly than -- given a lot of credit. this is a question for the country at the moment. the question is, what are you going to do about millions of people unemployed now all that you may be saying about things to do in the long term may entirely be correct. but we've got misery looking us in the face, and we have an obligation, when you have this many people across the board,
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yes, of all genders, now we see disproportionately women. the reason that's important is that for 30 years the only reason the standard of living for the american people has gone subpoena because women have bin the workforce. you have no chance of getting back to even. >> this idea of the government being obligated the use their money to train people, i think the people know, the market will sort this out, people go to college because they expect to have job when they get out. you know now if you go in to -- there are not many manufacturing jobs if you plan career trying to be the manufacturing sector that is not going to work out. i don't think that's the government's obligation to turn on. you do know where the growth industries are is the it in environment, education, health care, that's up to you as an individual. >> what do you think the president's prescription is going to be? any prognosis here? >> spending, if you ask the american people where they are, they say three to one spending
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over deficit. you know why? because people are hurting. and because he was so accommodating to you people who wanted to do nothing but cut taxes, -- [laughter] >> say really briefly it comes upped what you were saying, i just recently came back from a bipartisan trip to germany. one of the reasons this trip wept was there to talk to the leaders about what are you doing right. germany has more debt than we do in proportion to take in. they're to the not worried they got more growth than we do. what else they have is the golf working with the private sector on retraining people or steering people in to jobs that the private sector needs. and they work hand up hand you're not out there alone. i really do think government has a role, it's not helping your people go in direction toward productivity and growth to this country than what role should government -- >> i mean if they need people why aren't they helping to train -- >> the government programs right
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now there. is a trade adjust. assistance program that is s training people, why as i as a business start that program. but businesses do train people. >> unfortunately they're not at the scale that we need to get this economy moving we have to move on now we can go really forever on this one. now we turn to some shocking data on newborn mortality out this week. >> according to researchers at the w.h.o. w.h.o. the united states ranks 41st. in newborn survival, behind south korea, malaysia and poland, states on par with croatia, qatar and the united arab emirates in newborn mortality rates. the 20-year study found overall newborn mortality rates are dropping worldwide. but in the united states, the rates are falling more slowly than in other countries. the u.s. is down by 26% over 20 years while 50 other countries, including china, lowered their rates by more than 50%.
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preterm delivery, asphyxia and infection are the leading causes of newborn death. one in every eight babies born in the u.s. is born premature. so, debra, why do you think america is not number one? >> that's really great question. i wish i had the answer to that because then we could solve it. but i would like to point out thaw it is surprising to me, if we're 37th in the world according to the world health association and health care overall, why would we expect to be number one in this area. obviously there's a lot of work that we have to do. and i think that there's some confusing numbers out there as to what the rest of the world is doing and how they gather their criteria for ranking, wt's going on in their situation, but we definitely need to work harder at taking care of mothers, giving them access to care prior to birth and giving them access to care after birth.
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not just sending them home in two days from the hospital, get out. >> i agree with all of that. but i also wonder, i'm a little bit suspicious about how these rankings come about. because you have a 22-week-old baby who is all of a sudden saved, we don't know what other countries do when somebody goes in to labor when you're 22 weeks pregnant. we have the technology, we have the tools, we can save these little babies. i happen to have a friend right now who has a 22-week old baby who has survived. so i don't know, that could be counted as miscarriage in another country. >> i don't think we should be making any executed for these, for example, if we were to break down these rates by race, i think you'd stop making excuses because you would see the correlation between race, poverty and infant mortality. we stopped even talking about -- being poor doesn't come out of
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people's mouths any more even on my side of the aisle there. is direct correlation between race, poverty and infant mortality that is the children who are dying. >> if you look at the infant mortality rate for african american babies it's four times that the case for white babies. these numbers are indictment on any quality in america, what's do be done about that? >> well, i think the health care reform bill was enacted in hopes of addressing this. unfortunately i don't think that it necessarily will. i know my friends here will disagree with me on that but i worry that in trying to share cost among everyone i think that quality and action cities care will decline for others as well. >> i don't think it's just access to care, i think you've got to get hold of -- remember we're talking often very young girls who probably shouldn't be having babies at all. it's about getting hold of these mothers when they are very young, when care costs very
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little, even republicans might think we ought to give some care. it saves gazillions of dollars, for example, you talk about babies that are saved. a lot of money. all because we're not putting a little bit of money in there when the baby is just being formed. >> but we're talking about the riches country in the world. how can you associate being the richest country in the world with ranking 37 or 41-whatever. >> we don't have has good a system. france is number one. italy number two. they have better system. they have health care system that is accessible to all people. it isn't tied to your paycheck. it isn't tied to whether you're employed. whether an insurance company says you're too much of a cost risk, you have preexisting condition we're not going to cover you. >> you got to be -- if you want to be more ashamed we spend more money than all of them. not only are we at the bottom, but we're spending more money on health care and one of the reasons is because we don't have
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a system that everybody is in the system. all of these countries have national systems of one kind or the other. they vary in many ways, but everybody is in the pool. that cost shared is a whole lot cheaper than putting us all in individual little insurance pools. and look at the result we get despite spending more money than any other country on health care. >> looking at the 45 industrialized countries america is 41 in infant mortality. we can do better than that. >> we certainly can. but i think if we do have a national health care system we do have national health care system now we have to decide where and how we want to spend our finite health care dollars. do we channel it towards infant mortality, do we channel it towards ends of life care, towards cancer care in middle of life. these are tough choices that we have to make. who will be making those choices? >> i think that's really important. >> we'll have to move on. very important discussion. from health care to homework
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-- sort of. this week outraged customers successfully flexed their online petition power over a controversial shirt they say sends a sexist message to girls. they convinced j.c. penney to stop selling the t-shirt that reads: "i'm too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me." more than 1600 people signed the petition on the website many moms complained the shirt reinforces gender stereotypes. the t-shirt marketed to girls 7-16 was sold exclusively on the company's website. but has now been discontinued. agreeing that the shirt doesn't send an appropriate message, jc penney issued a statement saying, "our merchandise is intended to appeal to a broad customer base, not to offend them." so, what do you think about that t-shirt. >> was a woman involved in making this decision, j.c. penney? we'llly? >> i'm telling you. besides the fact that we have really good data now showing
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that women have higher iqs than men overall and girls are getting better grades. it should be i'm too dumb, i had to may my sister to do my homework. maybe they should put that one out. that would be fine. >> oh, my, god, i don't know what to say to that. >> that's how ludicrous it is. that to me is -- i have two sons, i love them and they're very bright boys. but that's how ludicrous it is to me, would we put a t-shirt out like that? >> exactly. >> have you seen the t-shirts lately? there is all kinds of things out there not just -- we're picking on j.c. penney, i happen to have audited -- they're very progressive company. so somebody in the marketing department said they looked all those t-shirts okay, well, let's try this within see if it sells. but i do think we need to revisit everything that's -- that we're putting on t-shirts. a lot of the things that are out there are far moreffensive than what j.c. penney did. >> probably found out that these
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kids like to wear t-shirts, and t-shirts that usually advertise nothing in particular, you know, the team and the rest. and so, wow, that's another whole new market to get in to. now, there are gazillion ways to get in the market. put all kinds much pretty things, wouldn't that get the girls quicker than anything i can think of. the reason they did because they see that on t-shirts things that usually written is your team or the likes. somebody is too clever -- >> the theory over this is a little bit over blown. alternate the end of the day, i as parent not allow my child to wear that, period. >> you've got a very good point. what happens was that the parents -- >> they got upset. >> very democratic. >> i think i have to make this confession -- >> you bought one? >> in the '70s i was a paper girl in the '70s i would wear
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this t-shirt as i did my route that said "a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." and it was a huge slogan in the '70s. >> i remember that. >> i thought, you know, i would like to say this has been going on for awhile. but it didn't say guys were dumb. i didn't say i'm dumb. people are upset that it's sending girls a message that you can be pretty, don't have to be smart. but my mind that is a little bit -- we know girls are smarter, we know girls are going to college at higher rates. >> but girls who are seven and eight don't know that yet. we really don't want them falling in love with a t-shirt that deprecates themselves. but the way to do it is just like you say. don't buy the thing. the get a lot of other people also not to buy the thing. >> one of the things that we're working hard to do over the last decade has been to build up a girl's self-esteem. anything that attacks, undermines that i think is a
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problem, an issue. i agree with you, i think it's the parents' response bill to make sure that they develop self-esteem and not purchase those products. >> i heard that there's a counter petition going on to bring the shirt back. i wonder who is signing on that? is it a bunch of men that -- >> manly men. >> here it comes. >> my goodness, i don't know what we'll do with that. >> t-shirts don't need to say much to attract kids. if you want really be cute try putting a for language seeing if you can get children, i wish children would learn spanish in our country so that we would not be this dumb mono-lingual country. have your little girl something in spanish that promotes learning. >> my mom never let me wear anything with a brand, unless i'm being paid i can't have a logo. >> that's a good policy. >> that's it for this edition of "to the contrary." next week: senator kirsten
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gillibrand's campaign to get women off the sidelines. check out our website for ttc extra. and, whether your views are in agreement or to the contrary, please join us next time. >> funding for "to the contrary" provided by: >> the alternative fuel debate is over. this is lexus' hybrid technology designed to optimize any fuel conceivable. this is the pursuit of perfection. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation and by the charles a. frueauff
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foundation for videotapes of "to the contrary", please contact federal news service at 1-888-343-1940.
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To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe
PBS September 3, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm PDT

News/Business. (2011) Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY America 4, J.c. Penney 4, Solis 4, U.s. 3, Hilda Solis 2, United States 2, Us 2, South Korea 1, Washington 1, Germany 1, God 1, Ui 1, The W.h.o. W.h.o. The United States 1, Perm Napt 1, Talentism 1, Avis 1, Bonnie Erbe 1, Italy 1, Croatia 1, Eleanor Holmes Norton 1
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